Thursday, June 28, 2007

George Takei has told me there's an actors' superstition that you never talk about the details of a pending job until you actually have the job. If you are auditioning for a part, if there is a deal in development or they are simply considering you for a part that an actor will only talk in vague generalities until he/she is technically hired and the job is a reality. I am about to test the mojo on this particular quirk.

Last night I went to the latest graduation at the DAVE school and the premiere of my work on "Aurora"; the class thesis. The show came out great and was a thrill to see it on the big screen. My own personal little thrill came as my name scrolled across the screen.

There was a reception later at which I got to talk with Ron about the next step for me. During he course of the evening I also got to talk with one of the other instructors and he dropped some BIG NEWS on me.

He has a series he is pitching to a major cable network and wants me to play a role in it!

The words came out of his mouth and I heard each of them slowly; as if my mind raced to put the clearest definition to each of them and confirm what I was hearing. The meaning and weight of each word piled on top of each other and I could feel each neuron in my brain first register what was being said and then send an extra jolt of adrenalin into my blood stream as it confirmed what I was hearing.

I fought my best not to start swinging from the exposed roof beams and pipes in the ceiling; that wouldn't be professional, I thought. As he kept talking I kept waiting for the other shoe of my typical luck to fall; but as he kept talking my involvement in it was being solidified more and more.

"We thought of you for this one character immediately and want you to do it!"

OK, I thought to myself, I won't swing from the rafters but I could dance on the high tops over there!

How concept fits the demographics of this network, he has a most natural of merchandising tie in right from the start and is something that when I have introduced people to the characters have been an immediate hit.

True to an actors' instinct I lied to try to get the job. As he was describing the character I am to play he compared him to Dr. Claw from "Inspector Gadget" I chimed right in with, "Oh, yeah; sure. I can do something like that! Yes, definitely!" While inside my head all I could picture was the image of Dr. Claw's mechanical arm which was ll you ever saw of him. I was never a big fan of the show so I had absolutely no recollection of the voice. I was hoping the panic didn't show in my face as I kept nodding yes to my ability to bring voice the the main protagonist of the show.

So, until I have signed my name to my first professional contract the details of show name, character and network will remain a mystery to but two or three of my closest friends. I want to test George's superstition and see if it will work for me. I am this close to actually be working on a series I want to have as much positive vibe working on my side.

Next month we start working on the pilot.

Monday, June 25, 2007

My PC sits in the one spot in my trailer that has the worst air flow. There are no windows and the only way to get any air is to open the back door which sits directly to my right. To do this during the middle of that day almost washes out the monitor with the sunlight pouring in.

Why do I mention this?

I was all ready to sit at my PC on Sunday and do a bunch of work I had been putting off for a while. Some time in the middle of the night before the air conditioner failed. I woke up to a stuffy trailer and it just kept getting worse. Somewhere n the past few months the yard crew had continually been trimming the grass around the central A/C unit in the back of the trailer. As the weed whacker whizzed around it had worn away the insulation on the wiring leading from the thermostat inside to the controls outside. Then as the dew of the morning formed the moisture caused the wire to arc and shorted out the transformer killing the entire unit.

Of course it decided to do this on the one day of the week when my landlord could not either run out to a supply store to get one of reach his A/C guy. SO I sat and sweat the day away.

Actually, the day wasn't all that bad. I had opened the windows and there was a gentle breeze. I did take between 6 and 8 showers during the course of the day including one at 3AM this morning. This was no where near as bad a the three weeks without electricity after the hurricanes of a two years ago.

Like everyone around me, the park manager had some fun at me expense. I called him from work today to check on the progress of the repairs. He said, "Well, it's going to take at least three weeks to get your A/C replaced!"

I told him I was going to go get a new car just so I could run him down!

Monday, June 18, 2007

How do I post this without sounding like poor, poor me?

Father's Day came and went without a phone call from my son.

OK, I take into consideration that he is away on vacation with his part of his family. Do I feel a little jealousy that his step-father got his due yesterday? I'd be lying if I didn't admit it, but it's not eating me apart. However, a phone call or even a card would have been enough.

I do take into consideration that he is about to turn 16 and can remember these things on his own. It does not mean I am angry with him, am ready to disown him, or will hold it against him.

It does however, if Eaton tradition, mean that I will bust his chops about it for quite some time.. He is coming here for the month of July and I already have his first morning planned.

"Dad? What's for breakfast?"

"Breakfast? You know, I had breakfast by myself on Father's Day!"

You can feel the love!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My friend Jason was headed home today from his vacation in Tennessee which meant I would be giving his truck back to him. So, I decided to check in with him on his way back today.

"Hi, Jason, how was your trip?"

"It was great! I'll tell you all about it when we get home."

"Where abouts are you now?"

"Just outside Macon, Georgia."

"Oh, when are you due to get home?"

"Around 7PM."

"OK, good. Oh, and Jason?"


"I was just you have roadside assistance on the turck?"

"Ohhhhhnnnnnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooooo! What happened?"

"You were a sucker; that's what happened!"

Now the real question here is;

Is the funniest part of the joke that Jason fell for it so easily, or that he would simply assume because I was involved that roadside assistance would be necessary?!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Here's the poster and trailer for "Aurora", the DAVE School project I worked on.

Aurora Trailer

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Another great session of recording in Orlando and another great feeling of doing what I feel the most natural doing. I arrived promptly at 3PM and we dove right into it. We recorded some new dialog and fixed only one line from the original session. We also did one extra line for a blooper scene for me character. It's an in joke for the staff and students at the DAVE School; so, if and when you see it...while it may be funny not everyone will get it. We also recorded the voiceover for a trailer. This is not actually going to be produced, but as part of his mentoring of me, Ron is going to lay in some music and sound effects for me to add this to my demo reel. I got to stop in a the school and see the film in its almost finished state. I will get to see it completed at the graduation ceremony at the end of the month.

To add to the whole day was a typical moment at work just as I was about to leave for the day. They have started a "Quality Assurance" monitoring which assures that phone reps are polite and cover all the major points they are supposed to during a call. While I applaud the company's efforts on this they are also doing it wit their usual myopic sensibility.

I have consistently scored extremely well on this monitoring. After almost ten years of doing this job...yes, I know what I'm doing. Some at my job don't. I am surprised that some of the people I work with can even operate a telephone let alone carry on a pleasant conversation with a customer. However, even the slightest deviation is beaten over our heads. Even when that deviation leads to a more efficient way of doing my job. The company mind set is that you have t be focused 100% on the call at hand and absolutely nothing else. These rules and criteria were developed by people who have style over substance as the most important thing. The criteria for this monitoring is dumbed down to the lowest common denominator to insure that the worst of our phone people can follow simple instructions in order to do their jobs. On the other hand, I am able to walk and chew gum at the same time. While consistently providing my customers with the best service I can during the call I can also multi task and handle other parts of my job at the same time.

I could rant on and on over this and anyone outside of the company would be lost and are probably tired of my company rants. Suffice to say, I am damned good at my job and have customers commenting on how pleasant compared to many others in my office. I get defensive when the quality of my work is called into question and will be very vocal if pressed by management.

On the other hand.....

On my way back from Orlando I took a back road along the Indian River to get home. I rolled down the window and turned off the car's air conditioner. It had just rained and the humidity was gone from the usually scorching June Florida air. The scent of sea air filled the car and as the stereo blared Jr. Walkers and the All Stars I forgot less and less about how my day had started and reveled in how it was ending.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My friends Jason has going out of town for a few days and he has let me borrow his car while he is gone. Another great sign on what a good friend he is.

I picked it up lat night before he and his family hit the road. I got a call this morning at 7:45AM from Jill, from whom I've been getting regular rides to work since my last car died.

"So, did you get Jason's car?"


"Don't break it!"

My friends.....gotta love 'em!

Monday, June 11, 2007

This is me!

Well, this is the character I am playing in "Aurora", the project I am doing at the DAVE School. Meet Hunter! I am headed back there on Thursday to do some more recording. Included in this will be a trailer for the film, a commercial for the DAVE School and...the part I am dying to do.....bloopers for the film.

If you have seen any of the Pixar films you will be familiar with these animated bloopers. They are done to appear as if they were done as part of the "filming" of the movie in which the animated characters break out and do real person like flubs, gaffes and practical jokes.

When I did "Runners" we recorded bloopers but they were never used, which disappointed me a little. We did one really funny one with my character, a big, hulking rock creature, being caught at the craft service table sneaking off doughnuts and responding in a very effeminate voice. It would have been very funny. This director promises me they will get done this time.

Watch for more on this after the session later this week.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Time is running out for me to make my decision abut this year's trip to Shore Leave. I just got John's refund check in the mail and I may soon have to get my own money back. This really sucks. I had paid for these so early in the year and, at that point, I could afford the trip. Now, as time grow closer and I still don't have my airline ticket, it is looking more and more as if I won't make it this year.

Yes, I'm bummed.

I have only missed one other year in the recent past and that was because of my gastric bypass surgery. Add to that, it was going to be my first year of attending without Johnny.


I'll get better.